The Main Street Middle School “Green Team” poses with the newly unveiled Universal Recycling symbols
On November 13th, Vermont’s Agency of Natural Resources and representatives from Solid Waste Management Districts visited Main Street Middle School in Montpelier for an event to unveil the state’s newly developed standardized symbols for recycling, food scraps and trash.
These symbols will be used as implementation tools for Vermont’s Universal Recycling law (Act 148), which passed the Vermont Legislature in 2012. The new law requires statewide recycling by July 2015, and diverts food scraps from landfills by July 2020. Once implemented, the law is expected to increase Vermont’s recycling and composting rate from 30% to 60%.
During the event, members of the Act 148 Working Group, including state agencies, industry representatives, municipal solid waste groups and not-for-profits, unveiled the symbols, explained details of the implementation timeline for the Universal Recycling law, and discussed the importance of the law for the people of Vermont.
“We are excited to unveil these universal symbols in time for America Recycles day. They’re designed to be used everywhere: in public places, schools, businesses, curbside containers, even dumpsters,” said ANR Solid Waste Program Manager, Cathy Jamieson. “The goal is to create consistency statewide to encourage recycling, composting, and waste reduction. With universal messaging, Vermont’s communities will find waste management increasingly accessible and approachable.” Jamieson hopes this will contribute towards consistent messaging nationally as several major cities have adopted the same color scheme.
“The Universal Recycling law is great for Vermont. It will create jobs as we build the infrastructure, develop new products, and start new businesses to help us manage our waste as a resource. It will also keep us from having to use costly landfill space for materials that still have value,” emphasized ANR Secretary Deb Markowitz. “Managing our waste as a resource will also reduce Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions by keeping organic materials out of the landfill.”
According to John W. Casella, Chairman and CEO of Casella Resource Solutions, “The easier we make it to recycle, the more people will recycle. These icons are an important part of this mission. They’re clear, concise, and will be a great tool to help people do the right thing.”
The symbols are freely available for download at the ANR’s Department of Environmental Conservation, Waste Management program website http://www.anr.state.vt.us/dec/wastediv/solid/urs/. Solid waste haulers, transfer stations and drop off centers, towns, businesses, schools, and the general public are encouraged to use the symbols to label their recycling, composting and trash containers.